USGS Banner

Project ID: 2002CT3B

Title: Development of Regionally Calibrated Land Cover Impervious Surface Coefficients

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Methods, Models, Non Point Pollution

Keywords: impervious surfaces, land use, nonpoint source pollution, water quality modeling, watershed management

Start Date: 03/01/2002

End Date: 02/28/2003

Federal Funds: $24,666

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $50,126

Congressional District: 2nd

Principal Investigators:
Michael Prisloe
University of Connecticut

Daniel Civco
University of Connecticut


This research will result in the formulation of regionally calibrated land-cover-specific impervious surface coefficients that will be used in an ArcView GIS-based impervious surface model. The model is being developed by the PIs and technical staff at NOAA?s Coastal Services Center, Charleston, SC. The model will use NOAA?s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) land cover data and/or the federal government?s Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) data, both interpreted from Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite imagery, and will calculate watershed imperviousness by multiplying the area of each land cover category by regional impervious surface coefficients calibrated for each land cover type. Furthermore, the model has been designed to accept a variety of land use and land cover source information, as well as locally-calibrated impervious cover coefficients. The model is based on a prototype developed by researchers at the University of Connecticut (Prisloe, Lei and Hurd, 2001).

The direct beneficiaries of the research will include two distinct groups; a national network of more than twenty Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Projects and water resource and land use managers at the local, regional and state levels of government. The use of the impervious surface model with data calibrated to the users? geographic region will greatly improve the model outputs and will provide officials with information that otherwise likely would be unavailable. Recognizing that there are differences in impervious cover among land use types, either because of category definition or geography, this study will examine land use information from both C-CAP and MRLC from study sites selected from within the coverage of the National NEMO Network. Metrics and estimates of variability for watershed imperviousness will provide the users with information necessary to design watershed management plans to control future increases in impervious surfaces or to mitigate its impacts in locations where large percentages already exist.

The objective of the research is to develop regionally calibrated impervious surface coefficients to be used with nationally available land cover data to calculate imperviousness for watersheds at locations throughout the country. The coefficients will be derived from high-resolution digital planimetric datasets that include building outlines, road pavement, driveways, parking lots and other impervious features. To our knowledge, this will be the first such set of regional impervious surface coefficients developed using a consistent and documented methodology. Calibration data will be collected from members of the National NEMO Network who possess planimetric data meeting the standards set forth by these investigators, most notably in terms of precision, polygon closure, and contemporaneousness with existing land cover data.

Analyses will be conducted by a graduate assistant under the supervision of the PIs. Tasks to be performed will require a working knowledge of remote sensing data, familiarity with image processing techniques to interpret land cover data from satellite imagery, and expertise in the field of geographic information systems. The graduate student will be responsible for acquiring and verifying the calibration data, preparing the data sets for analysis, developing the impervious surface coefficients, preparing project metadata and preparing informational and instructional materials to support use of the data in the impervious surface model.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday June 24, 2004 3:18 PM
Privacy Statement || Disclaimer
|| Accessibility